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Financial consultants help clients develop overall financial strategies and address specific needs such as retirement planning and tax strategies. Here’s what you need to know about financial consultants, including when is the best time to hire a financial consultant and how to find one in your area.
What is Financial Consulting?
Financial consulting includes creating an overall financial plan including retirement planning, real estate planning, tax strategy, debt management and more. A financial consultant is very similar to a financial advisor, and the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Financial consultants may hold the title of Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), but this title is not required to call themselves a financial consultant. Before hiring a financial professional, make sure you understand the financial professional’s educational background and professional qualifications.
Financial consulting is sometimes referred to as management consulting. In this case, a consultant is hired by a company or organization to work on a specific project or develop a solution to a financial challenge.
What do financial consultants do?
Financial consultants first get a complete picture of the client’s financial situation. They work to understand your assets and liabilities, short- and long-term financial goals, and risk tolerance.
From there, our financial consultants will help you develop a plan that meets your needs and goals. They can help you set up a retirement account, determine how much you need to save to reach your goals, or identify the right investments for your portfolio.
You will experience many different financial needs in your life, and a financial consultant can help with many of them. Everything from retirement savings to estate planning to coping with unexpected job losses can be an area where financial consultants can help.
Financial Consultants and Financial Advisors: The Difference
Financial professionals use different terms to refer to themselves, so there is little difference between a financial advisor and a financial consultant. However, just like any other profession, just saying he’s a consultant or advisor doesn’t make him a great vocation. Before hiring a financial consultant, you should understand the training and education of financial consultants and pay particular attention to their professional qualifications.
Financial consultants may hold the title of ChFC, Certified Financial Analyst (CFA), or Certified Financial Planner (CFP). They may hold additional licenses that allow them to sell their investments. One of the best questions to ask a financial consultant is whether they are trustees. This means that financial consultants are legally obligated to put the interests of their clients above those of themselves and their companies.
If you need help from a financial consultant
Whether or not you hire a financial consultant depends on your personal circumstances and needs. In general, the smaller your investment portfolio and the simpler your financial life, the less likely you are to need a financial consultant. Using a robo-advisor can be beneficial because it allows you to automate your investment process based on your goals and risk tolerance at a lower cost than traditional advisors.
However, if you have a more complex financial situation or need help with specific areas such as tax strategy or estate planning, a financial consultant can be especially helpful. Some consultants require a certain amount of assets before agreeing to accept you as a client, so you may need to wait until your portfolio reaches a certain level before starting work.
We may also be able to schedule one or two sessions for an hourly rate if you have some questions about the financial impact of certain life events such as marriage, childbirth or receiving an inheritance.
How to find a financial consultant
One of the best ways to find a good financial consultant in your area is to ask friends and family for referrals. They are more likely to give unbiased advice on who is best to hire and whether they have worked with consultants they recommend in the past. You may also be able to find consultants and advisors by searching his websites, such as CFP’s letmakeaplan.org.
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